The Hottest Race in the Whole Wide World – And the Stewards Who Have Brought the Entire Racing Integrity Ideal Into Disgrace – Shame, Shame, Shame – You Are the Public Servants Who Are Supposed to Be Keeping Our Sport Clean – How Could You Do This To Us All?

The rorting just never ends at Albion Park does it?

This is Race 8 last Saturday night on the 20th of January 2018.

There are five horses to watch.

The leader is Sammy Kriden, an even money ($2) shot trained by Jack Butler – who has featured prominently in our series of race fixing stories – and driven by Grant Dixon’s former long-time stable foreman and stable driver Trent Moffat.

The horse in the death seat is Bring It On Lefty, driven by Isobel Ross, granddaughter of Albion Park employee Don Ross, the long time Clerk of the Course at Albion Park. It is trained by Cristina Monte, the sister-in-law of Stephen Cini who trains the horse on the leaders back Midnight Prowler.

Midnight Prowler is driven by Hayden Barnes, a former employee of Chantal Turpin, the sister-in law of his friend Narissa McMullen and of the driver of the horse racing behind him three back on the fence Jazzy Artist.

That driver is Danielle McMullen, a young member of the famous harness racing clan who works in the office at Albion Park and was last year suspended for 3 months for naming a pig running in a charity race after a female QRIC steward.

The horse out the back in the familiar white with dark brown check colors sported by Clip Clop’s Victoria Derby hope The Colt is Corporal Luna. It of course is trained by Moses, our old mate Grant Dixon.

Grant Dixon also trains Major Moment, and it along with Bring it on Lefty and Sammy Kriden are the absolute keys to this race. Major Moment is the horse in the one-one trail and it is driven by veteran reinsman Peter Greig, whose vast experience as a driver makes what you are about to see just so much worse.

Here is what happens in short.

The even money favorite Sammy Kriden leads.

Isobel Ross on Bring it on Lefty attacks it mercilessly when there is no reason for her to do so other than one – to get the favorite beaten and set the race up for one from behind.

Ross runs suicidal sectional times of 27.6 and 28.1 seconds in the 1st and 3rd quarters that can’t possibly have any result other than to tank her own horse and gas the favorite on her inside.

Moffat refuses to hand up the lead and keeps on kicking up the rail inside Ross, and in the process he burns so much petrol that Blind Frederick can see that it will have nothing left in the sprint home and must certainly fade out at the finish.

It does.

So does Bring it on Lefty.

They run last and third last respectively.

But its the horse that runs second last that is the key.

Watch it – it is 4th in the 1-1 as the film starts rolling and is wearing these colors:

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Did you just see what I saw?

Major Moment’s driver has just deliberately pulled it out of the 1-1 and into the 3 wide position, but he hasn’t done it to hook around and challenge for the lead because the horse is going backwards at the time.

He’s done for another reason completely.

Well three in fact.

  1. To let the even money favorites stablemate the second favorite Lexus on the Beach – who has used no petrol in the run, and has just been sitting back smoking his pipe while the leaders have gone mad up front – through without having to hook wide.
  2. To allow the Dixon runner Corporal Luna through to follow Lexus on the Beach without going wide either.
  3. To block Chris Petroff’s drive Nui Toc Tien – the third favorite in the orange, and the only other winning hope given the way the race has been run – and ensure that horse has to go extremely wide around the turn so that it is hugely disadvantaged by covering a stack of extra ground.

Oh my goodness!

This race is so red hot that it sizzles.

Now there is no doubt that Peter Greig would have told the stewards that his horse had hung if they had called him in for an explanation – it didn’t hang, don’t you worry about that, just look at the final 200m; and it wasn’t as far gone at the 400m as Greig would have you believe either because look at the last 100m – but in one of the most highly unusual actions by a Chief Steward this century Greig was never asked a single thing about his drive by the stipes in charge.

WTF?

A driver hooks three wide for no reason at all and lets his stablemate and the 2nd favorite through, and deliberately blocks the 3rd favorite and pushes it wide, and the people whose job is to keep the sport clean and ensure that harness racing’s integrity is preserved don’t ask a single f*cking question.

Every single one of them should be sacked on the spot.

This is an absolute outrage.

The stewards do call Isobel Ross in to explain her drive, but strangely – curiously? incompetently? corruptly? – didn’t call Moffatt in to explain his, instead calling trainer Jack Butler in to give an explanation for his horse’s run.

Why the f*ck any experienced trot watcher would need to ask why Sammy’s a Kriden ran last is anyone’s guess. It’s pretty bloody obvious isn’t it?

What they should have been asking him is why his driver didn’t hand up the lead when Ross kept attacking him but they didn’t, not even when Butler pretty much gave his boy up by blurted out that his horse doesn’t perform well when it can’t lead on its own and bowl along in front.

Common sense would dictate that once you had heard the trainer say that you would call the driver in and say ‘Well Trent, please explain’, but did the stewards take that blindingly obvious step?

What do you reckon?

Ha, ha, ha. Come in spinner, and goodbye mug favorite punters bucks.

Common sense would also dictate that Isobel Ross would cop a decent lag for not giving her horse every (any) possible chance to win the race, but the stewards simply accepted one of the greatest bullsh*t excuses you have ever heard in your life, and said ‘Dearie, dearie Izzy that was a bit silly’ and then gave her some parently advice on tactics.

And Peter Greig – the former champion driver who inexplicably hooked his horse out wide for no logical reason at all, and in doing so demonstrably affected the result of the race – was not called in at all.

If this is as good as it gets at a time when 10 harness racing figures are facing criminal charges of race fixing then why bother at all?

We might as well shut the Albion Park doors and lock ’em forever, and all go home.

Integrity?

In your arse.

What an absolute disgrace.

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Another Day Goes By – And Racing Qld and the BRC Tell Us Another Lie – Why?

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Do you ever get the feeling that you are being lied to?

The high quality material that the Doctor Who Isn’t is referring to is grass.

Not the Whimpey Dave kind, the real stuff.

Sh*t it’s hard to find grass in Queensland in summer isn’t it?

The video below was taken at the Eagle Farm track yesterday.

It’s lovely all that sand in the place that a racecourse proper used to be isn’t it?

Can someone please tell us the truth about WTF is going on at Headquarters?

All we want is a track to race on.

Can it really be that hard?

Here’s Looking at You Albion Park Kid – Ain’t It Funny Now the Shoe’s on the Other Foot Mr Damian ‘Telex’ Raedler?

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I am told that the Albion Park Committee men have been absolutely convinced by CEO Damian ‘Telex’ Radar that my name isn’t actually Archie Butterfly, and the word is that they are having a great old laugh at what they think is my expense about their issuing me a refund cheque for my 2 bucks in that particular name, because they wrongly imagine I can’t cash it.

Well guess what dickheads?

The jokes on you.

Still laughing Telex?

Everyone else is laughing too.

At you.

I have a problem with my phone mate, the same one that you have. Someone’s listening to it. Luckily I haven’t been talking to Marshall Dobson and others on mine like you have.

But do you reckon you can use your old skills and fix it for me Telex? Perhaps you could whack in a couple of extra lines too, just for Auld Lang Syne.

Hey, you don’t happen to know how your old mate Marshall managed to set up those false betting accounts a decade or more ago do you son?

The QRIC coppers do.

Now its funny Telex.

Lets all have a laugh together shall we smart arse?

Ha, ha, ha, ha. ha!

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Jockey Safety First and Deaths No More – Part 7 – The Fix Is In and We’ve All Been F*cked

Yesterday I rang a number of clubs, statutory bodies, associations and Government departments as part of my research for this series I am writing about jockey safety.

One of those bodies was QRIC, the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission.

I spoke to a member of the stewards department, and questioned the official stewards report for the meeting held at the Sunshine Coast on the afternoon of 5 January 2018. In particular I questioned the failure of stewards to mention the horse Red Mahogany that fell in the race, or to mention the jockey James Orman who had fallen with the horse and sustained a broken back.

This is what the official published Stewards Report said from the race day evening of 5 January 2015 until at least 2.00 pm today when I last checked it.

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At the conclusion of my conversation with a member of the Stewarding department at QRIC I left my name and telephone number and asked that it passed to the Chief Steward Allan Reardon with a message for him to call me.

Early this morning I again rang QRIC and spoke to the Stewarding Department and left the same message.

I was advised that Mr Reardon was on sick leave, but assured my message would be passed on to him immediately.

Since that time I have become aware that Mr Reardon has taken and received calls from a number of non-QRIC staff members in the industry both yesterday and today.

The Chief Steward has not returned my calls.

Mindful of what happened when I had lodged a complaint about a matter in Victoria relating to the harness racing driver Greg Sugars – the stewards changed their report, twice – I spoke to three respected industry figures today and voiced my concern that the Qld Racing Integrity Commission stewards would alter the official report for the Sunshine Coast meeting held on 5 January 2018 in order to conceal their incompetence, and perhaps even cover up for their culpability in the scandalous matter of failing to inquire into or investigate a near fatality at the meeting.

Call me Nostradamus.

This is what the official published Steward’s Report now reads.

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There is no mention whatsoever in the Stewards Report now published on the QRIC website that the report has been amended, altered or changed.

This is a scandal.

A young man could have died.

The Racing Integrity Commission was established to put the truth back in racing, and to ensure that the sport was clean.

Now we are all just covered in filth.

F*ck me.

Is this as good as it is ever going to get?

If the guards won’t protect us, who will protect us from the guards?

Jockey Safety First and Deaths No More – Part 6 – What the F*ck?

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This is the stewards report into the race at the Sunshine Coast on 5 January 2018 in which jockey James Orman’s mount Red Mahogany fell and jockey Nathan Thomas was dislodged from his mount Henry’s Affair after he showed great horsemanship and hurdled the stricken Orman to avoid crushing him.

Lock the names Red Mahogany and James Orman into your mind.

Now look at the steward’s report again.

What’s missing?

Jockey Safety First and Deaths No More – Part 5 – The 20 Year Old Queensland Jockey Who Broke His Back in a Fall – And Went Within an Inch of Losing His Life

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James Orman – Jimmy to his mates – is one of the most talented apprentices ever to grace a Queensland race track. At the age of just 20 Orman has ridden almost 400 winners including a Group 3 and 7 Listed Race successes, and has earned his mount’s connections just under $10 million in prize money.

In the 2015/16 season the the 18-year-old young jockey rode 143 winner to secure the Queensland Jockeys Title, and as you would expect swept the field at that year’s Queensland Racing Awards, winning the Ken Russell Apprentice of the Year, the Stewards Award, The Racezone Medal for most wins in a single month, the Queensland Metropolitan Apprentice of title, and gongs as both the QLD Provincial Jockey and the Qld Provincial Apprentice of year.

A year later, after outriding his apprentice’s claim and at ages 18 and 19 riding against grown men more than twice his age Orman rode 94 winners to finish fourth in the Queensland Jockey’s table, finishing behind only the vastly experienced international Group 1 winning riders Jeff Lloyd, Jim Byrne and Robbie Fradd.

The kid’s an amazing jockey, a rare talent of the type that only comes along once in a decade, but he’s more than that as well because Jimmy Orman is a devoted son, grandson, brother and deeply loved friend to many, and one of the best liked people in Queensland racing.

But just under 3 weeks ago, in a nondescript race maiden race at Caloundra on a Friday afternoon, Jimmy Orman had a fall and was almost lost to us all.

 

Those who were watching the horrific events unfold at the track and on screens around the state thought he was dead.

His mother, Gatton trainer Caroline Allardyce, did too. She says she thought her son was lost to her, and felt her soul breaking into little pieces inside as she raced to the phone and desperately started making calls to the track to find out the condition of the still young boy to whom she had given life.

As she was waiting anxiously with her eyes glues to the screen while the phone rang the distraught Allardyce – who was 200 miles away and helpless – saw her son who was lying prone and motionless on the track suddenly lift his head, and her heart sparked with hope, but when he seemed to collapse back on to the track again she thought that all was lost and her little boy was gone.

I can’t even begin to imagine the nightmare it must have been, and of course Orman’s Mum had no way of knowing that it was in fact the ambulance officers who had told her son to lie back down and remain still.

Jimmy Orman lay on the track for what seemed to those who love him an eternity, but what was really about 20 minutes.

Two extra ambulances were rushed to the course to treat him after the race day emergency services staff quickly identified that he has suffered spinal injuries, and the next race was delayed by 10 minutes as paramedics and doctors stabilised the young rider and then rushed him to the Sunshine Coast hospital, where he remained until the middle of the next day after been diagnosed as suffering from a wedge thoracic fracture of his spine.

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James Orman is expected to recover from his injury and return to riding sometime in the next 6-8 weeks, and no doubt the gifted rider will get climb his way back to the upper reaches of the premiership table by booting him a multitude of winners.

Were it not though for the care and efforts of his colleagues like Nathan Thomas – who also fell as he jumped his horse over Orman – and Matthew Powell and Matt McGilivray, each of whom went to extraordinary lengths to avoid their horses hitting him, James Orman could very easily have now been laying dead in a cold grave.

There is a story that goes with this.

It’s a story of failure, and neglect, and incompetence, and lack of care, and maybe even a whole lot more.

A story that runs from the top to the bottom of the racing industry and beyond.

The story makes me sick to the pit of my guts, and it’s one I wish I wasn’t the one who had to tell. But one another jockey’s going to die if I don’t tell it, and I can’t live with that, so tell it I will.

Watch this space.

Jockey Safety First and Deaths No More – Part 1 – Riding Race Horses – The Most Dangerous Occupation in the Wide Brown Land

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Memorial to fallen jockeys, Caulfield race track

Racing is the most dangerous of established sports, far more so than motor racing.

Each year in Australia, on average, it claims one life, creates one quadriplegic, causes one rider brain damage, and leaves between three and five people so badly hurt in race or track falls that they can never ride again.

Since records began in Australia, there have been 872 deaths.

After Forrest and Pye died within two days, jockeys and trainers publicly questioned whether Australia’s racing culture is contributing to the danger.

The most outspoken was Lee Freedman, concerned pressure to expand racing to compete with other sports – especially in terms of betting – was creating unnecessary risks.

He called on authorities to reduce field sizes, to vet every horse at the track pre-race, and to end the culture of tight riding.

“[Tight riding is] a macho load of rubbish that’s permeated our ranks for years and our riders are paying the penalty,” he said.

Former jockey Mitchell Beadman agrees.

“In Australia, especially in Sydney, we race very tight,” he says.

“The racing in Sydney is probably the most competitive in the world. It’s quick and it’s tight. The margin for error is very small.”

Jockey Glyn Schofield worries about pressure on riders to win, and the nature of many of Australia’s tracks.

“It’s very competitive riding,” he said.  “A lot is expected of jockeys to ride competitively”.

“There are rules we have to abide by, but maybe our rules need amending.”

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/four-in-14-months-why-are-so-many-female-jockeys-dying-on-during-horse-races/news-story/5480ebd22fd195ccd6c7101d64ab829f